Public anger against Muhyiddin Yassin’s unelected government, which took power in March 2020 after forming a coalition with the opposition, has built up as cases jumped eightfold since January.

Hundreds of black-clad Malaysian youth rallied in central Kuala Lumpur  on Saturday to demand the resignation of the prime minister over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, as new cases  in a surge that has also become a political crisis.

New daily infections breached 10,000 on July 13 for the first time and have stayed there since, despite a virus emergency in January and a lockdown since June .Total deaths have risen to nearly 9,000.Nearly 20% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

The rally added to pressure on Muhyiddin, after his government was  by Malaysia’s king for misleading Parliament over the status of emergency measures.Some carried mock corpses wrapped in white cloth to depict the growing virus death toll.Wearing face masks while holding black flags and placards, the protesters chanted “Fight! Fight!” and “Muhyiddin resign.”

Independence Square, they sat on the street 3 feet apart with a large banner that read “The government failed.”

They put forward three demands: the resignation of Muhyiddin, resumption of regular parliamentary sessions and automatic loan moratorium to help those hit by the pandemic.They dispersed peacefully after nearly two hours.

Parliament reopened Monday for the first time this year after Muhyiddin caved to pressure from the king, but it was only to brief lawmakers on the pandemic and debates were banned.

King Sultan Abdullah Sultan on Thursday rebuked the government for misleading Parliament on the annulment of emergency ordinances, but Muhyiddin  his administration didn’t violate the constitution.